Have you been struggling with congestion or noisy breathing? There are many causes for this but one of the most common is a deviated septum. A deviated septum happens when the thin wall between your nasal passages is pushed to one side. Sometimes this condition is present at birth but can commonly be caused by a nose injury. This is an extremely common condition and is estimated to be present in approximately 80% of the U.S. population, however not everyone experiences symptoms. If symptoms do persist, they often manifest as regular nose bleeds, congestion in the nostrils, noisy breathing while you sleep and sleep apnea. If you think you may be dealing with a deviated septum here is everything you need to know about this condition.
Symptoms of a Deviated Septum
The nasal septum is the thin wall which separates your two nasal passages and ends at your nostrils. It is constructed of thin bone and flexible cartilage. It is very common for a deviated septum to occur as the septum becomes crooked or off-center. This can cause the nasal passages to be uneven. The majority of people in the world don’t even have nasal passages. In fact, symmetry is on the rare side. However, if one nasal passage is significantly larger than the other you may not realize that some of these serious side effects are caused by this. A deviated septum can cause serious issues including:
- Trouble breathing through the nose. This may be more noticeable when nostrils are inflamed due to allergies or a cold. It indicates a severe deviated septum obstructing breathing out of one nostril.
- Frequent nosebleeds. A deviated septum can make your nasal passages dry and prone to bleeding.
- Snoring. This is due to an obstruction from deviated septums. It can lead to poor sleep and is often the cause of sleep apnea which leaves people feeling tired and unrested during the day.
- Dry mouth. A severely deviated septum causing nasal blockage can lead to dry mouth, caused by chronic mouth breathing.
- Headaches. A buildup of pressure in the sinuses due to uneven nose passageways can cause recurring sinus headaches.
- Recurring sinus infections. clogged nasal passages can make those with a deviated septum more prone to sinus infections.
Treatment for a Deviated Septum
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms there is a good chance it is due to a deviated septum. Reach out to us for support and diagnosis. We have a few effective strategies for treating a deviated septum. While nasal sprays and antibiotics can clear up issues temporarily there are some long-term strategies which can ease symptoms permanently.
- Septoplasty: this surgical procedure is performed for people with deviated septums which cause symptoms which are chronic and threaten to become worse overtime. This procedure can be done in the office using localized anesthesia and aims to correct the deviation in your nose. Usually lasting no more than an hour, the surgeon will make a tiny incision inside the nose which corrects the issue without the need to interrupt or sever bone. It generally takes about a week to recover and the result allows a patient who has been struggling to breath to breath without obstruction
- Septorhinoplasty: This surgical procedure not only corrects a deviated septum but also corrects cosmetic issues with the exterior of the nose. This could be an elective surgery or used after an individual suffers an impact to the nose. The procedure lasts about two hours, in which the surgeon not only corrects the septum deviation but reshapes the cartilage and inner bone of the nose. Recovery time is about two weeks, and the patent will suffer some bruising. While cosmetic surgeries are rarely covered by insurance it may be a good idea to do a septorhinoplasty if you already need a deviated septum repair and want to have a cosmetic correction as well.
If you have been suffering from a constant runny nose, trouble breathing or issues snoring loudly it could denote a serious issue with a deviated septum. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to live with this condition. Contact us to find out more about what we can do for you.